This “Dated” Flat-Shoe Trend Just Made a Comeback—Here’s How to Wear It
I can still remember my first pair of ballet flats, which my mother bought me when I started dance classes as a 7-year-old. I loved them and insisted on wearing them everywhere, with everything, dance class or no dance class. Unfortunately, due to my lack of coordination and daintiness, ballet didn’t stick, but I’ve had a soft spot for this slip-on shoe style ever since.
During my teenage years in the noughties, as a budding fashion fan, I looked up to the likes of Kate Moss (arguably the queen of making the ballet flat cool) and Sienna Miller, who inspired me to pair them with everything from miniskirts to leggings. But thanks to their over-saturation, by the mid-2010s, I hung up my beloved bowed pumps, probably in favour of some Stan Smiths or Topshop ankle boots.
I thought it was for good and came to terms with my ballet-flat era being over. That was until the last year or so when I’ve started to notice the “dated” shoe trend creeping back into the wardrobes of some of the most stylish celebrities and fashion people I know. More and more these days, I’m seeing ballet flats in outfits I really want to copy.
Of course, a lot of this is down to the resurgence of the classic Chanel pump, which, timeless though it is, is certainly having more of a moment now than it has done for years. And while Londoners used to be my ballet-flat muses, now I’m mostly looking across the pond to French girls and their classic, elevated take on how to wear the shoe style—Chanel or not.
Are you with me? If so, then you’ll want to keep scrolling because below I’ve curated nine of the best ballet-flat outfits I’ve seen recently that look anything but dated. They might even convince us to try the trend again. Happy scrolling!
This is a great trans-seasonal outfit if ever I saw one, perfect for wearing from now into autumn.
A light, slouchy trench is a key wardrobe piece.
This T-shirt is slightly cropped, making it feel cooler than your average.
Arket has upped its miniskirt game considerably this season.
I can’t get over how good these flats are from M&S.
It doesn’t get more classic, or more French, than this easy outfit.
I always head to Arket for Breton stripes.
This classic white shirt will get you far.
Abercrombie denim gets the TikTok seal of approval.
A pair you’ll want to pull out for years to come.
Trust Alexa Chung to come up with a truly original way to wear ballet flats. I particularly love the Mary Jane styles at the moment.
A cosy piece to see you through the whole of winter.
White denim is a great base for a chic tonal look.
These socks come in so many colours.
If The Row says ballet flats are back, I’m inclined to agree.
It’s not just us mere mortals loving ballet flats right now. Katie Holmes—who clearly has great style—wore her square-toe ones just the other day. And rather effortlessly, might I add.
This has been one of Arket’s best sellers this summer, for good reason.
Veronica Beard does such great denim with a slight ’70s twist.
If you’re looking for a sturdier pair, opt for these from COS.
An A.P.C. crossbody always finishes a look in the most polished way.
I wouldn’t have thought to wear ballet flats under wide-leg trousers. But Julie proves that it can work and look incredibly good if they fall at just the right length.
This great-value Breton will likely be your most-worn wardrobe item.
A Gucci belt elevates an outfit in seconds.
These are hands down my favourite wide-leg trousers ever.
This unique take on the ballet flat feels really modern.
Ballet flats aren’t just for casual dressing. Mélodie shows you can just as easily wear them with a figure-hugging dress for more formal occasions.
In previous decades, skinny jeans were the only jeans you would wear with ballet flats. But Emma Rose Thatcher throws that rule out the window with this chic outfit and makes them feel really up-to-date in the process.
A tweed jacket makes any outfit feel fancy.
The best white T-shirt on the market, no exceptions.
Grlfrnd is one of my favourite premium denim brands.
Porte & Paire does some of the best classic shoes styles I’ve seen.
Queen of minimalism, Sylvie opts for a ruched pair of flats to accompany her simple but elegant outfit.
You can always count on M&S for quality, so you know this investment shirt will last.
H&M strikes again with another perfect pair of tailored trousers.
I love all of & Other Stories’ ballet flats, but these just might top the list.
Chic two-tone ballet flats pull this otherwise “boring” outfit together and turn it into an elevated look that would work for brunch, meetings, sightseeing or dinner.
This popular trench is back for another year, proving just how timeless it is.
I live in these jeans.
This slick shoulder bag looks so expensive.
These suede flats are perfection.
Up Next: I’m a Flat-Shoe Expert, and These 31 Pairs Are the Prettiest I’ve Found
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